Budget may drive retiree housing sell-off

Retirees will spark the start of a housing sell-off should the government deliver superannuation tax breaks within the upcoming budget, StatePlus has said.

According to StatePlus (formerly State Super Financial Services), 80 per cent of retirees own their own home but don’t have much superannuation to live off.

“Downsizing to free up capital makes a great deal of sense for many Australian retirees and pre-retirees,” said Jason Andriessen, StatePlus chief customer officer.

“If the government delivers the budget sweeteners we’re expecting on Tuesday – namely superannuation tax breaks to free up housing stock – we believe plenty of retirees would be wise to take advantage of them.”

Mr Andriessen added that exemptions from the age pension asset test or the new super contributions cap will be a “powerful incentive” for retirees to downsize their homes.

“Retired home owners are holding more wealth in housing than ever before. If the government’s budget sweeteners provide a tax saving to downsize property and reinvest lump sums, StatePlus expects a healthy take-up,” he said.

As for those planning for retirement, Mr Andriessen said getting financial advice is key.

“Many Australians are still arranging their financial affairs in response to the biggest changes in superannuation in a decade that were announced in the 2016 federal budget,” he said.

“Given the significance of the changes, our planners are still talking to clients unsure how they will be affected. Now is the time to seek advice from a professional financial planner.

“Quality advice changes lives and anyone who may be affected by new policies should seek advice from a trusted financial planner to navigate any changes.”

 

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